Yesterday, I woke up feeling overwhelmed by my to-do list, and an old pal of a thought pattern showed up:
"If you had been more on top of things last week, you wouldn't feel like this."
"If you had started that [new plan that was definitely going to fix everything] when you first thought of it, you'd be farther along now."
"If you had just been better earlier...."
And when these thoughts come to play, I often don't want to do anything at all, because obviously, the only solution to feeling better now was to start weeks ago, and I didn't do that, so what's the point, bring on the Netflix and chips!!!!
But as I scrolled through Instagram, I saw this post from Karamo, king of my heart, where he said:
You just have to be 1% better today.
And pals, I promise that this is good, useful advice.
You do not have to, in this session, this month, or this week, fix everything that you want to be fixed.
Just do one thing that gets you closer to where you want to be.
Haven't opened your dissertation in a while? Open it up.
Feeling like you haven't gotten enough movement lately? Go for a short walk around the block, or park farther away than you might have otherwise.
Have one vegetable or fruit.
Write just one paragraph, or one sentence!
Go to bed a half hour earlier, or get up 15 minutes earlier.
Clean up one area of your office or house.
It doesn't have to be big. You just have to be 1% farther than you were when you started. Because the magic is that the first 1% is often the hardest, but it can unblock you. Once you open the file, you read it a little, and then maybe you see a sentence you want to fix, and then you fix it, and then you read the paragraph, and then you see where you want to go next, and....
And even if all those steps don't happen at once, you've started down the path. And you've countered the voice that says: "if you started this a week ago!" because you've started it now.
And then, maybe, you'll look back in a month, or in three months, and say, this was the day I said yes to trying a new way of thinking about my work, and the scale felt laughably small at the time, but look where I am now....